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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 26, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 64 → Subpart Q


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS


Subpart Q—Implementation of Section 273(d)(5) of the Communications Act: Dispute Resolution Regarding Equipment Standards


Contents
§64.1700   Purpose and scope.
§64.1701   Definitions.
§64.1702   Procedures.
§64.1703   Dispute resolution default process.
§64.1704   Frivolous disputes/penalties.

Source: 61 FR 24903, May 17, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

§64.1700   Purpose and scope.

The purpose of this subpart is to implement the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which amended the Communications Act by creating section 273(d)(5), 47 U.S.C. 273(d)(5). Section 273(d) sets forth procedures to be followed by non-accredited standards development organizations when these organizations set industry-wide standards and generic requirements for telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment. The statutory procedures allow outside parties to fund and participate in setting the organization's standards and require the organization and the parties to develop a process for resolving any technical disputes. In cases where all parties cannot agree to a mutually satisfactory dispute resolution process, section 273(d)(5) requires the Commission to prescribe a dispute resolution process.

§64.1701   Definitions.

For purposes of this subpart, the terms accredited standards development organization, funding party, generic requirement, and industry-wide have the same meaning as found in 47 U.S.C. 273.

§64.1702   Procedures.

If a non-accredited standards development organization (NASDO) and the funding parties are unable to agree unanimously on a dispute resolution process prior to publishing a text for comment pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 273(d)(4)(A)(v), a funding party may use the default dispute resolution process set forth in section 64.1703.

§64.1703   Dispute resolution default process.

(a) Tri-Partite Panel. Technical disputes governed by this section shall be resolved in accordance with the recommendation of a three-person panel, subject to a vote of the funding parties in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. Persons who participated in the generic requirements or standards development process are eligible to serve on the panel. The panel shall be selected and operate as follows:

(1) Within two (2) days of the filing of a dispute with the NASDO invoking the dispute resolution default process, both the funding party seeking dispute resolution and the NASDO shall select a representative to sit on the panel;

(2) Within four (4) days of their selection, the two panelists shall select a neutral third panel member to create a tri-partite panel;

(3) The tri-partite panel shall, at a minimum, review the proposed text of the NASDO and any explanatory material provided to the funding parties by the NASDO, the comments and any alternative text provided by the funding party seeking dispute resolution, any relevant standards which have been established or which are under development by an accredited-standards development organization, and any comments submitted by other funding parties;

(4) Any party in interest submitting information to the panel for consideration (including the NASDO, the party seeking dispute resolution and the other funding parties) shall be asked by the panel whether there is knowledge of patents, the use of which may be essential to the standard or generic requirement being considered. The fact that the question was asked along with any affirmative responses shall be recorded, and considered, in the panel's recommendation; and

(5) The tri-partite panel shall, within fifteen (15) days after being established, decide by a majority vote, the issue or issues raised by the party seeking dispute resolution and produce a report of their decision to the funding parties. The tri-partite panel must adopt one of the five options listed below:

(i) The NASDO's proposal on the issue under consideration;

(ii) The position of the party seeking dispute resolution on the issue under consideration;

(iii) A standard developed by an accredited standards development organization that addresses the issue under consideration;

(iv) A finding that the issue is not ripe for decision due to insufficient technical evidence to support the soundness of any one proposal over any other proposal; or

(v) Any other resolution that is consistent with the standard described in section 64.1703(a)(6).

(6) The tri-partite panel must choose, from the five options outlined above, the option that they believe provides the most technically sound solution and base its recommendation upon the substantive evidence presented to the panel. The panel is not precluded from taking into account complexity of implementation and other practical considerations in deciding which option is most technically sound. Neither of the disputants (i.e., the NASDO and the funding party which invokes the dispute resolution process) will be permitted to participate in any decision to reject the mediation panel's recommendation.

(b) The tri-partite panel's recommendation(s) must be included in the final industry-wide standard or industry-wide generic requirement, unless three-fourths of the funding parties who vote decide within thirty (30) days of the filing of the dispute to reject the recommendation and accept one of the options specified in paragraphs (a)(5) (i) through (v) of this section. Each funding party shall have one vote.

(c) All costs sustained by the tri-partite panel will be incorporated into the cost of producing the industry-wide standard or industry-wide generic requirement.

§64.1704   Frivolous disputes/penalties.

(a) No person shall willfully refer a dispute to the dispute resolution process under this subpart unless to the best of his knowledge, information and belief there is good ground to support the dispute and the dispute is not interposed for delay.

(b) Any person who fails to comply with the requirements in paragraph (a) of this section, may be subject to forfeiture pursuant to section 503(b) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 503(b).

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